The pandemic hit restaurants particularly hard, and food vendors at U of T Scarborough were no exception. But as we kick off a new academic year, many of them are planning to reopen.
We asked UTSC students for their favourite dishes as well as tips and recommendations on how to find more about food on campus.
Chopsticks at Market Place
“I like that place because it’s really close to my home food, it’s close to meals back from my country,” says Denise Adjei Nmashie, an incoming third-year student majoring in economics and double minoring in political science and international development. “If you’re African like me, you would like the Market Place where I think Asian food is really close.”
As her number one tip for all students, she recommends allotting some time to visit Market Place as many students enjoy visiting in-between their classes, so there might be a large line.
“Also, if you end up picking a huge box of food, the dine-in area in the Market Place would be the best place for you to enjoy the food,” Nmashie says.
Fran Wdowczyk, the director of business operations at U of T Scarborough, says they put many safety and health protocols in place to keep everyone safe. For example, UTSC Food recently introduced a new Transact Mobile Ordering App, which helps students order in advance and pick up at a pickup station.
“When you go into our seating areas, either in the Market Place or even in the Student Center, you’ll see that there are not as many seats,” she says. “The second thing that you’ll see is that on each table, there’ll be Lysol wipes for people to wipe down things.”
Tortilla, Burrito, Taco at Market Place and Cooking classes
Julia Lo, who is going into her third year at UTSC, says her favourite vendor is Tortilla, Burrito, Taco at Market Place.
“That’s the place that I always went to because it’s healthier and has a lot of different options,” she says. “I normally get just the burrito bowl because it tastes good, and I get everything on it without any hot sauce because I can’t handle anything spicy.”
As a student who lived in residence, she also enjoys the cooking classes hosted by Norman Javier.
“You’ll be sent ingredients to your door. And then at this specific time, you’re going to get onto a zoom call, and Norman will teach you how to cook this specific meal with the ingredients that you’re given,” Lo says. “I think it went really well.”
As her number one tip for students who plan to buy on-campus food frequently, she recommends exploring the meal plan option.
“It gives you kind of extra benefits as you won’t have to pay tax,” she says. “And I think there’s also an added discount depending on where you buy.”
Chopsticks and Gogi food truck
“Chopsticks is definitely my favourite because they had a lot of options with food that kind of reminded me more of home,” says Ashley Heng, an arts management specialist double minoring in music and culture and media studies. “I really like the noodles, and I also like fried udon.”
Heng says she also enjoys dishes from Gogi food truck, a small business run by a husband and wife.
“I ate Gogi four times out of the five days that they were here [on campus],” she says. “And it was so good!”
Not so long ago, UTSC Food partnered up with Sumer, a startup by a group of UTSC students that offers students 15 minutes grocery deliveries across the Scarborough area. This was met positively by many students.
“I think that’s been very convenient because you can easily get a bunch of ingredients, and they come in 15 minutes,” Heng says. “And they have a $1.99 delivery fee, and that’s a flat fee.”
UTSC Food programming and reopening plans
“We’re gonna start off with a limited rollout in the first few weeks of September until we can figure out what everyone needs,” says Wdowczyk. “And then we’ll be able to announce the growth.”
Right now, UTSC Food plans to resume a monthly Sunday Night Dinner, which is available to all students. "We’re going to bring that back with a full dinner,” she says.
For more information, including hours of operation, students can visit the UTSC Food website or follow them on Instagram and Facebook for promotions and new offerings.